Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) proposed a tax plan in January that he said would make the state’s tax code “fairer, flatter, simpler” by lowering tax rates for all Kansans. As ThinkProgress noted at the time, Brownback’s plan actually cut taxes for the state’s top 1 percent while raising them on the lower and middle classes.
Facing criticism from policy analysts and lawmakers, Brownback’s plan hung up in the state legislature, where lawmakers have been working to hammer out a compromise plan. Now, however, a group of 50 former Republican lawmakers is calling on Brownback to abandon the plan because it would blow a massive hole in the state budget, jeopardizing schools, roads, and other important programs, the Lawrence Journal-World reports:
Traditional Republicans for Common Sense said the tax bill, if enacted, would put the state in a budget hole that would result in cuts to essential services, such as schools, roads, and nursing home care. The group said it would also lead to increases in local property taxes.
“I think Kansas taxpayers need to be asking where the governor would make these cuts,” said Rochelle Chronister, former assistant majority leader in the House, and former chair of the Kansas Republican Party.
“More importantly, we need to be asking what cuts of this magnitude might look like for working families, retirees and Kansas children,” Chronister, of Neodesha, said.
Original analysis of Brownback’s plan found that it would cost the state $900 million by 2018. A new analysis, released recently, said it would cost only $160 million by 2018, though that plan is based on growth projections in state sales tax revenues that are largely unrealistic.
Brownback has not said how he would make up the lost revenue, instead adhering to the false Republican orthodoxy that the tax cuts wouldn’t affect the budget because they would create jobs and boost economic growth.